The Ordinary (Estee Lauder)

Last Updated: January 17, 2022

Is The Ordinary (Estee Lauder) Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

Make a positive impact by supporting companies with the same values and ethics as what matters most to you. To navigate and find ethical brands, here’s a summary of The Ordinary’s ethics and initiatives.

Ethical Analysis

Is The Ordinary cruelty-free, vegan, or sustainable? We’ve got the answers here! Read below for more details on The Ordinary’s policies.
The Ordinary is cruelty-free, but The Ordinary is owned by Estee Lauder, a parent company that is NOT cruelty-free.
All of The Ordinary products are 100% vegan and don’t contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products.
The Ordinary (and DECIEM) states they are “not yet a sustainable beauty company, but we have made a commitment to continuously improve all areas of our operations.”

Some of The Ordinary’s current sustainability initiatives include transitioning to carbon-neutral cardstock, reducing their operational impact at their warehouse, and offering an in-store recycling program.
It’s not clear where The Ordinary’s mica is mined or sourced from and how they trace or audit to ensure no child labor was involved.
The Ordinary products come in plastic, glass, or aluminum packaging. They break down what each component of their packaging is made from and what can be recycled here. The Ordinary also offers an in-store recycling program.

About The Ordinary (Estee Lauder)

The Ordinary is an evolving collection of treatments offering familiar, effective clinical technologies positioned to raise integrity in skincare.
PRODUCTS: Skincare, Makeup

The Ordinary (Estee Lauder)

This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

You can find The Ordinary’s cruelty-free products at, Sephora, Ulta, Target,, and Beauty Bay.

The Ordinary is *Cruelty-Free

The Ordinary has confirmed they do not test their products or ingredients on animals or ask others to test on their behalf. Their suppliers also do not test on animals, nor do they allow their products to be tested on animals when required by law. And finally, their products are not sold in stores in mainland China or any other country that may require animal testing.

By our standards, we would consider The Ordinary to be *Cruelty-Free.

*The Ordinary is owned by Estee Lauder, a corporation that is NOT cruelty-free because they allow some of their other brands to test on animals.

It’s your choice whether you want to support or boycott cruelty-free brands owned by a parent company that is not cruelty-free. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer to this. I encourage you to do what you’re comfortable with, but I think it’s important to disclose that Estee Lauder owns a majority stake in The Ordinary.

Below is a screenshot of The Ordinary’s official animal testing statement:

Is The Ordinary Cruelty-Free?

What About China’s Animal Testing Laws?

The Ordinary has confirmed they do not sell their products in retail stores in mainland China; therefore, they are not required to test on animals.

“As required by the European Cosmetics Regulations, we only work with suppliers who do not perform animal testing. Since that regulation came into force, it has pushed cosmetic raw material suppliers to replace animal testing with available alternatives to support the safety of their ingredients. DECIEM and The Ordinary do not test on animals and do not ask others to do so. For this reason, none of our brands or products are sold in stores or conventional retailers in mainland China, since such sales require animal testing for registration purposes.”

As of May 1, 2021, some imported ordinary cosmetics can be exempt from animal testing under certain conditions. However, for the most part, animal testing is still legally required for most imported cosmetics in 2022.

Cruelty-Free Policies

Note that there is no legal definition for the label ‘Cruelty-Free.’ It can mean different things to different people. But Cruelty-Free is generally used to imply no animal testing. More specifically, the ingredients, formulation, or finished product are not tested on animals at any stage of product development.

At ethical elephant, we always assess a company’s cruelty-free policy using our Cruelty-Free Checklist. This ensures no animal testing was performed by the brand itself, its suppliers, and by any third parties.

Also, note that Cruelty-Free and Vegan don’t always mean the same thing.

The Ordinary is 100% Vegan

The Ordinary has confirmed all of its products are vegan and don’t contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products.

Below is what’s currently stated on The Ordinary’s website:

Is The Ordinary Vegan?

The Ordinary used to state on its website that the “majority” of its products are vegan. But their website has been updated and they now claim all of their products are 100% vegan.

Vegan Policies

Similar to ‘Cruelty-Free,’ there is no standard or legal definition for the label ‘Vegan.’ But it’s usually used in the context to describe something that doesn’t contain any animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products.

Some common animal products used in cosmetics include carmine, lanolin, snail mucus, beeswax, honey, pearl or silk-derived ingredients, animal-based glycerin, keratin, and squalene.

There are plant-based and synthetic alternatives to animal-derived ingredients. But it’s sometimes difficult to know with certainty whether a product is vegan just by reading the ingredient list.

So it’s best to ask the company and manufacturers to ensure the ingredients they’ve chosen to use were from non-animal sources.

Where are The Ordinary’s products made?

The Ordinary states on its website,

“DECIEM is the parent company of The Ordinary and all of The Ordinary products are manufactured or bottled in Canada in GMP-compliant facilities.”

Ethical Mica Mining Policy

Mica is a mineral that’s used in cosmetics to add a shimmery effect. But the mining of natural mica has been linked to child labor and human rights violations.

Unless the company discloses its mica mining policy, we have no way of knowing whether its mica is ethically sourced without child or forced labor.

So I asked The Ordinary if their mica is ethically sourced without the use of child labor and they responded by stating,

“Hi! Our products meet all safety requirements and are assessed by qualified assessors. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide MSDS to consumers.

The Ordinary did not specifically address where their mica is sourced from and how they audit or trace to ensure no child labor was involved in mining their mica.

I hope this article helped you to understand The Ordinary’s cruelty-free and vegan status and by choosing cruelty-free together, we can help end animal testing for cosmetics once and for all!

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What do you think

0 thoughts on “The Ordinary (Estee Lauder)”

  1. I find it really interesting ethically that the shareholder status of Estee Lauder hasn’t come under greater scrutiny from the vegan community. I do wonder what other vegan and cruelty free companies have shareholder connections to brands that are not cruelty free that might have slipped under our radars? Thanks for adding the shareholder information, there is very little information available publicly about Deciems relationship with Estee Lauder!

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